Gallery: Photos suggest flowing water on Mars

Gallery: Photos suggest flowing water on Mars

Summary: Several observation from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show evidence of water flowing during the warmest months on the Red Planet.

TOPICS: Nasa / Space

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  • This before and after look shows the features of possible water flows. Scientists believe it must be salt water as the temperatures encountered would freeze fresh water but would allow salt water to flow as its freezing termperature is lower.

    The images show a slope on the Newton crater.

    Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

  • The image above taken in a colder season shows no evidence of water flow while the evidence does exist in the lower image taken in the Martian summer.

    Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

  • Here is a similar looking flow in the Horowitz crater.

    Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Topic: Nasa / Space

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  • RE: Gallery: Photos suggest flowing water on Mars

    If only this could be true! I caught my first glimpse of Mars through a telescope in 1956 and have been hooked ever since.
  • RE: Gallery: Photos suggest flowing water on Mars

    Very exciting. We'll need to put the next rover down in these areas to see what it can find.
    • The next rover => MSL (launch date: Nov. 25, 2011)

      @boomchuck1 -

      NASA is launching a Jeep-sized robot geologist to Mars in November. ( ) Curiousity's target is the Gale crater where an asteroid has conveniently dug out and lifted up eons of rock strata. Since these salt water seeps seem to appear on the edges of craters, I suspect they're going to be pouring over (pun intended) the Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter images of Gale's rim looking for just that sort of formation so Curiousity can try and get a scoop for analysis.

      In the mean time, the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is right now crawling towards the 22 km wide Endeavour Crater. Since it still has a few klicks to go, and charging ahead at 6 km per _year_, MSL may be roving Gale before Opportunity rolls into Endeavour. No doubt they will be looking for this sort of formation there as well. So far, the only craters we've poked at were far smaller (and so less likely to get lucky and find a Martian leak).

      So far, all evidence is that while Mars did have water and may have had life, we have not been able to find any direct evidence yet. I'd be ecstatic (not to mention a little mind-blown) if MSL spotted a little smudge of algae with its microscope in some water leaking from the edge of Gale.
  • RE: Gallery: Photos suggest flowing water on Mars

    still need more examinations. the next rover perhaps could bring us more data.
  • RE: Gallery: Photos suggest flowing water on Mars

    Is it possible that wind could shift heavy and light minerals causing them to simulate the flow of water on the crater walls? Perhaps a study of our own deserts would give credence to this theory?
    • RE: Gallery: Photos suggest flowing water on Mars

      @chuck@... While Earth and Mars have their similarities, I suspect that the differences that would render the results of the desert studies useless for comparison. Mars has no magnetic field to protect its surface from the same cosmic radiation that is blocked by Earths magnetic field. Mars gravity is approx. one third of Earth because Mars density is 1/10th of earths density.
  • RE: Gallery: Photos suggest flowing water on Mars

    Sure would be nice if we had the budget to send some scientists to these areas. And I dont mean in a space capsule but in a nice sized comfortable ship that uses centrifical force for gravity and enough elbow room to walk around in. A 6 month trip is a long time to just sit in a capsule. Something with multiple areas the size of shipping containers, kitchen, library, sleeping quarters, ect.
  • Red Planet

    Maybe if China gets there to colonize it first, it can be the first Red Planet.
  • Its Wind Erosion

    It looks like wind erosion to me. Water ravines don't just fade away. Its pretty obvious to me. For an indirect comparison, examine sandy river bottoms where the flow is water instead of wind, you get the same patterns emerging.
    • Don't see how you see that

      @Peopleunit Wind, particularly on a planet with a light atmosphere, doesn't make streams!! There's clearly a volatile flowing in the stop time images.
  • Shadows!

    Looks like different shadows at different times of the day to me!

    An water == life? The conclusion is a bit quick!
    • RE: Gallery: Photos suggest flowing water on Mars

      @ragnar.moller@... that's not the only reason to make the conclusion. The timing of the water flow also matches seasonal emissions of methane on Mars. And there are only two ways methane (a dissipating gas) could be there - geological processes (Mars is not thought to be geologically active), or life.
  • RE: Gallery: Photos suggest flowing water on Mars

    Personally the question for me is why have we NOT been there yet? The fact that man kind's progress is defined and controlled by "money" makes us laughable. When will we learn to simply work together for the greater good? Instead we refuse to do a damn thing unless someone gives us some little shiny coins in return.
    • It would be a lot more fun to spend our money on Mars


      Instead of on a bunch of free-loaders here.
  • RE: Gallery: Photos suggest flowing water on Mars

    More hype in an attempt to get more funding.
  • RE: Gallery: Photos suggest flowing water on Mars

    Are we sure that BP does't have an oil well near there? Hopefully we can arrange for some of our esteemed congressmen to go there on a fact finding junket.
  • RE: Gallery: Photos suggest flowing water on Mars

    It would be infinitely better to focus our money on Mar exploration rather than constantly sending money and young adults into war.